Oisin Murphy admitted relief was his overriding emotion after he was crowed champion jockey for the third successive season on Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot.
The Killarney-born rider looked set for a comfortable defence of his title a few weeks ago, but a late charge from William Buick set up a thrilling finale.
Buick closed the gap to just one on a couple of occasions earlier in the week, but a double at Haydock on Friday meant Murphy started the final day with a decisive three-winner lead.
Buick struck early on Champions Day with Creative Force in the big sprint to give himself renewed hope – but defeat for Adayar in the Champion Stakes put paid to his gallant season-long pursuit of Murphy.
Marco Ghiani was all smiles as he was awarded the 2021 champion apprentice title.
The Newmarket-based rider has accumulated 51 winners throughout his title campaign. Ghiani earns the accolade after finishing 16 wins clear of Saffie Osborne, who missed the end of the season due to an arm injury.